In your box
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Head Lettuce, “Encino” buttercrunch
- Onion, “Red Long of Tropea”
- Summer squash or Eggplant
The first of our onion plants are beginning to droop, which indicates that the storage onions will likely be done growing in the next week or two. With that in mind, I’m planning an onion-plucking day on Saturday, August 14th from 9am-noon. If you would like to get a little farm work under your belt this summer, we’d love to have you out! We’ll also have time to tour the farm and play some yard games, too. Please let me know if you are interested so we know how many work stations to set up. Just send me an email if you can make it–even if you just want to see the farm and sit in the shade and watch us work! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year has featured the largest population of Monarch butterflies I can remember. We have milkweed growing all over the farm and I’m always careful to mow around it. I’ve been checking the plants and many of them have Monarch caterpillars eating away on them. The butterflies themselves have been visiting the comfrey, blazing stars, butterfly weed, and sunflowers we grow. It’s always nice to look up from picking beans and see a couple dozen Monarchs all over the field.
We’ve also had a good population of swallowtail butterflies. The caterpillars of these larger butterflies love to munch on members of the carrot family–especially parsley and fennel. I always have to double-check to make sure none are on the plants when I harvest them. Hopefully none of them have gone home to you in the boxes!
This week’s box
This week’s Broccoli is probably the last of the spring season. Some of the heads easily rank among the biggest I’ve ever grown! If it’s too much to handle right now, you can always freeze it. Just chop it up into florets, boil for just 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Cool the broccoli rapidly by running cold water on it (a colander works well for this). Once it’s cool and has had time to dry off, put it in a freezer container and freeze for several months.
We also have our first Beets of the year in your box this week. We grow both golden and red beets, but the taste and usage is the same. Beets are happiest in the fridge and keep well for 2 weeks. The greens are edible and can be used in the same ways as spinach or chard. They don’t keep as long as the roots, so you’ll want to keep them in a bag and use them in 5 days or so.
Cherry Tomatoes are one of my favorite crops to grow and harvest, even if it involves a constant competition with our son, Adam, to get them picked before he eats them all. We grow Jasper (red) and Sungold (orange) cherry tomatoes and I’m hoping for another week or two of them in the boxes. Like all tomatoes, cherries prefer to be kept at room temperature rather than in the fridge.
The Red Onions this week are an Italian heirloom with an elongated, torpedo-like shape. The greens on these are starting to fade but they are still edible. As long as the onions we send you still have green tops, they should be kept in the fridge and keep well for at least a couple weeks.
Shredded Beet Salad
From Simply in Season, by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert
- 2 c. beets
- ½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 TB olive oil
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 2 TB onion or scallions, chopped
- 1 TB sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 c. carrots, shredded
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
- green olives (optional)
- Cook beets, peel and shred.
- Mix together all the ingredients except for the carrots and eggs. Chill.
- To serve, place the beet mixture in the center of a dish. Arrange the carrots and eggs around the mixture.
- Olives may be sliced on top of the beets as a garnish, if desired
Next week we are expecting cherry tomatoes, beans, sweet onion, potatoes, head lettuce, chard, summer squash, cucumber, and tomatoes.